The historian tells you what happened.

     The novelist will tell you what it felt like.

                                        -E.L. Doctorow

Alison's Newsletter on Writing & Publishing

Alison Taylor-BrownAcross oceans and centuries, my novels follow characters changed by events as drastic as a plague or as small as a thought. I love history, especially those periods, like the sixteenth century, that changed man’s entire way of thinking. I’ve spent years understanding this era, and my novel Line of Ascent is about a man and a woman caught in history’s grip.

My stories are important, but so are yours. I founded the Village Writing School to teach people how to write their stories in the most engaging way. When I’m speaking at a conference on the power of words or teaching a workshop on subtext, I’m thinking how important some of the stories in that audience may be.

Beyond writing and teaching, I try to be a good person because the greatest act of creation is to fashion a beautiful life.

Research Can Get You a Laurel

This week I’m answering some questions that have come in about my trip to North Carolina. What on earth could be worth driving three days one way? Sometimes, we get the idea to write about someone or something but we don’t see the story. The 13th-century... read more

Who is Your Antagonist?

Stephen King had the same problem in 11/22/63 that I have in Line of Ascent. No bad guy. Oh sure, in King’s book there are bad guys and problems that pop up, but there is no overarching villain to be defeated except TIME itself. King solves this problem by... read more

Is Your Niche too Tight?

Maybe I didn’t light a stick of dynamite under my platform, but it sort of feels like that. After putting a great deal of effort into my I’m-a-funny-popular-historian-who-who-can-talk-to-you-about-codpieces platform, I began to feel that this didn’t... read more